No recap to start and it’s the Rhodes, Miz and Daniel Bryan vs. Orton and the Shield for our main event.
Run, Miz, Run!
Miz is on commentary as the Usos come to the ring. Loving the pink tribal face paint, but surely they can stop giving instructions for their entrance’s audience participation: let the crowd sink or swim. It’s now a triple threat for the titles this Sunday: looking forward to that one. And THEY’RE HERE. Miz drops a Charles Manson reference, which surely is worse than a Kobe comment.
Rowan to start off and Jey ducks a clothesline and kicks Harper instead, only to get hit with a shoulder block. Rowan knocks Jey about in the corner, tags in Harper who whips Rowan into Jey and hits a big boot on the rebound. Sit-out powerslam by Harper looked pretty impressive and Jimmy breaks up the pin. Jey scoots past a distracted Harper to get the tag; I thought for a second he’d managed to miss a clothesline. In comes Jimmy, hitting Harper with a flying tackle and a kick to the midsection, followed up by a Samoan Drop. Samoan Wrecking Ball gets two before Rowan breaks up the pin, only to get kicked in the stomach by Jimmy and tossed out; Harper gets thrown out after him. Jey dives out and hits Rowan; Jimmy goes for the same move but Harper smacks him away before he dives and then levels Jey with a boot.
Bray gets up, but then gets blindsided with a boot from the Miz, who doesn’t hang around. Rowan gives chase and Harper eats a double superkick for the pin.
Short yet fun match to kick off tonight. Rowan and Harper continue to impress me. Also happy with Miz’s hit and run: he needed to get some offence in. 3 Stars, I would say.
Back from break, and did somebody say ‘recap’? We relive to Bryan/Orton/AUTHORITY/Big Show from Monday.
Intrepid Reporter Michael Cole
Michael Cole is in the ring and he introduces Triple H, who gets some pretty malevolent ‘boo’s as he comes out. JBL says that this is how you start SmackDown, so screw you, Usos and Wyatts and entertaining matches. Cole brings up the WHITE WHALE in the room, the Big Show, and Triple H says that Show is responsible for six people being fired. He’s like a zombie, infecting the world with unemployment. Big Show has also filed a lawsuit, like a coward, and Triple H will give ‘no further comment’ on the situation. But he then calls Big Show irrelevant, because no legal advice on earth will stop burials.
Cole then asks another question about the Big Show, which shows what a fantastic reporter that guy is. But John Cena, let’s talk about that. Triple H knows what it’s like to come back from an injury, but then we were happy to see him return. Cole brings up the WWE Title match, and that’s all it takes for a YES chant. Triple H is thrilled that Shawn is the referee: he’s the right man for the job because he’s been inside a cell, so we could have gotten literally any prisoner to do it, meaning we should have gone to Charles Bronson. But Cole is interested in the relationship between HBK and Bryan, and Triple H waves this aside, saying that he and Shawn both know what’s best for business. Pretty sure that’s a reference to Montreal rather than the ‘Curtain Call’ and drug abuse. Before Triple H can get much further, Bryan’s music hits and he comes out. His trolling grin to Triple H was various kinds of awesome. He says the right thing to do is for him and Orton to be able to settle this feud: seconded. In the cell, no-one gets in and no-one gets out. So…not like Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker. Or Triple H vs. Cactus Jack. Or Triple H vs. Chris Jericho. Or Undertaker vs. Mankind. Right.
Bryan says that Shawn will do what’s best for business, and that once he does then Bryan will prove Triple H wrong and become the new WWE Champion. YES chant gets going and Triple H and Bryan stare each other down. Tension’s high, but Hunter takes a walk.
If Nikki Wins, We Riot
And it’s Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee: I’m glad to see that Nikki’s recovered fully. AJ tries to escape, but eats a drop toe-hold then a Thesz press, bailing from the ring. An ‘AJ’s Crazy’ chant starts and she hangs Nikki up on the top rope, getting two. AJ chokes Nikki on the rope and then hits a neckbreaker. Nikki fights her way out of a sleeper hold, finally throwing AJ off her and hitting some clotheslines, elbows and a dropkick which were all safely on the spectrum of ‘amateurish’ to ‘godawful’. AJ gets tossed into a corner and Tamina suddenly goes Joan Crawford on Brie, tossing her into the steps and she is down. Black Widow on Nikki, who manages to avoid botching tapping out.
Well, the Bella Sisters and their boyfriends are pretty well matched up in terms of technical ability and boy did it show tonight. 1 Star.
And another video of John Cena. Jesus gets less hype at my church, and he’s been gone nearly two thousand years, not two months. Although he might not exist… Cole says people are saying that Cena’s returning too soon, and I think we’ve all put it less politely than that.
Bray Wyatt is in the Shield’s usual hangout area and he’s got something to show us. My money’s on ‘dick in a box’. Oh, and it’s an unconscious Miz (no sign of a box). Looks like the bigwigs don’t love Manson comments after all.
The Obvious Transition From Bullfighting To Wrestling
And a rivalry for the ages continues as Los Matadores are pitted against 3MB. I’m worried about JBL’s feverish desire for a midget in a bull costume, but the locker room is probably glad for a shift in his attentions. They show Zeb getting gored and mention that he’s been very outspoken against Los Matadores. So hey, kids: if you disagree with someone on a political level, send in the little man.
The Real Americans make themselves known on the ramp, and the match begins with McIntyre and Diego. Headscissors to McIntyre, then an arm-wrench which Drew turns into a jawbreaker, tagging in Slater. Knee to the stomach from Slater, then to the face from McIntyre, and Slater gets a two count. Tag back to Drew and a double rebound suplex to Diego gets two. McIntyre works the arm but Diego dodges a charge from Drew in the corner and tags in Fernando. Fernando hangs McIntyre up on the ropes and hits several crossbodies, jumping off the ropes to hit Slater off the apron. McIntyre goes for the back suplex but Fernando rolls out, blind tag to Diego and a new double-team by Matadores: a clothesline to the back meets a reverse STO and they get the three. As long they stay the hell away from ‘Tempting Fate’, let them keep winning.
Not much to say about this match, other than to reiterate what a relief it is that Los Matadores have curbed their desire to cave in their fellow wrestlers’ chests. 2 stars.
Jinder comes into the ring and gets gored, tossed and El Torito hits a moonsault onto him. Zeb gets on the mic, and says Los Matadores ‘partake in deviant behaviour’. Them’s fighting words, although the pink masks make it a tough point to argue.
E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB! E-C-DUB!
Ryback and Heyman are out here for a match and Heyman says we’re here to witness a demonstration of what we’ll see at Hell in a Cell, and out comes ‘C.M. Skunk’. And yep, it’s a jobber in a Punk costume: more common than the elusive ‘Punk in a Jobber Costume’. Skunk actually punches and then kicks Ryback, which is three moves more than I thought he’d get, but Ryback shoves him down, then drives him into the ring’s corners before powerbombing him twice. Heyman gets the tag, brings out a kendo stick and channels the Sandman all over Skunk’s back. A meathook clothesline and the Shellshock finishes it: Heyman gets the pin with a foot to the face.
I liked Ryback’s jobber-mauling back when it started and I liked it tonight. Heyman going all ECW was a lovely bonus. 2.5 stars.
Heyman gets on the mic and lays out just what’s going to happen to Punk on Sunday. It didn’t top Monday night’s promo, but just what in the hell could?
Backstage, Vickie is laughing at the ‘skunk’ pun made over five minutes ago: that tape delay is atrocious. But Langston is here, with no time for Vickie’s giggling and he wants in the main event. Because he’s hungry. He manages to goad Vickie into making the decision herself by comparing her to Maddox, and let’s curb those heel antics, Langston.
Your From The Vault match is the Big Boss Man vs. IRS. IRS wins after interference from the Mountie and a briefcase to the head. Simpler times…
Mexican Superheroes: Taking AMERICAN Superheroes’ Jobs
Alberto Del Rio is here, looking dynamite in an all-black suit. He says that Cena isn’t ready to face him; he’s fooling himself. USA chants get going, and Del Rio calls himself a Mexican superhero. He speaks for the Latinos, but only the rich Latinos, and that’s pigeon-holing if I ever heard it. Apparently our superhero is John Cena, and I’d prefer the guy who could apparently kick out of the steely embrace of death itself to protect me, actually. Del Rio then goes to say that we can kiss his ass, but he doesn’t get swearing privileges until he beats Cena, who already has them.
Alcohol Sense Tingling…
Back from break, Khali, Natalya and Hornswoggle are in the ring and thank God for Chardonnay/Pinot hybrids. Khali’s opponent is Fandango, and the pink t-shirt does make it look like Fandango is just kicking around his house with no plans. Fandango tries to chop Khali but gets the club to the head and smacked around the corner for his troubles, selling himself out of the ring. He kicks Khali in the head and then whales on him in the corner but Khali regains control quickly. Summer Rae runs a distraction, allowing Fandango to hit a chop block, but Natalya pulls Summer off the apron but gets the taste slapped out of her mouth, the taste being general bitterness at her WWE career. Natalya chases Summer into the ring and they brawl, the match is stopped and Fandango gets chopped in the head and knocked out of the ring by Khali. Whimsical.
Yeah, this was your WWE comedy segment without any of that pesky comedy. 1 star.
Bray Wyatt: Improving Your Main Event
Bryan, Langston and the Rhodes make their way to the ring, followed by the Shield and Randy Orton. And it’s Ambrose and Cody to start off; Ambrose gets Cody in a corner, but Rhodes punches his way out and backs Ambrose into it. Back body drop to Ambrose and a tag to Goldust who takes it to Ambrose, a pin attempt getting a one-count. Goldust throws hands and hits a clothesline before tagging Cody back in, who tosses Ambrose out right into a commercial.
Back from break, it’s Rollins and Langston. Rollins chops Big E some, but runs right into a belly-to-belly suplex. Tag to Cody, Rollins reverses the Irish whip into the corner and Cody rolls him up for the two, staying on him with kicks and punches until Seth throws him face-first into the turnbuckle and brings him into the heel corner so Reigns can tag in. Reigns runs into Cody’s feet in the corner, who keeps holding Reigns as he tags in Bryan, who lays some kicks into Roman before taking him down with a dragon screw. Bryan then stomps the shit out of Reigns’ knees whilst staring directly at Orton, then tags in Langston, and this is what I wanted to see. E gores Reigns into the corner and then tags in Goldust. Well, that was fun. Goldust works Reigns over in the corner, following it up with nice cross-body which gets a two. Tag to Cody, who comes off the ropes and hits the Rhodes Uppercut. A single-leg takedown gets one. Reigns then forces Cody into his corner and Ambrose tags himself in, pounding Cody in the corner and scraping his head over the ropes as he tags in Orton.
Orton climbs up and punches Cody in the face before taking it to the floor. Cody manages to knock Orton to the floor for two, then hits a facebuster suplex for two before tagging in Goldust who basically just tags Cody back in. Cody tries to go for the corner punches but Orton claws his eyes and leaves Cody hanging on the ropes before knocking him out of the ring. Ambrose in now and he White Russian leg-sweeps Cody into the barricade before tossing him back into the ring and working on him with stomps. Orton comes back in a stalks Cody but misses his high knee and Cody gets some punches in at the corner, only for Orton to hit his backbreaker from the top rope. That looked hellishly painful.
Back from the break, Reigns suplexes Cody for two and tags in Ambrose, then Rollins comes in, gets hit with a jawbreaker from Cody but Rollins stops him from making the tag, dragging him into the corner. Ambrose comes back in, then Reigns. Cody hits Reigns with a dropkick and Rollins with a punch as the man comes off the top rope and tag to Goldust. Goldust in now with a head of steam, knocking down Rollins with clotheslines and the Rhodes Uppercut, blind tag to Reigns who gets the clothesline for two. Ambrose in, then Rollins, then Orton, and it’s amazing how fast that facepaint comes off if you apply fists. Quick tags avast, but Goldust takes Rollins and Reigns out with a springboard back elbow and tags Bryan!
Bryan is on fire about two seconds after getting in the ring. He dropkicks Orton off the apron and takes it to Ambrose, then dropkicks both Rollins and Reigns off the apron. Backflip from Bryan over Reigns, he ducks a clothesline from Ambrose and dives out of the ring onto Orto. Ambrose is thrown into the barricade and into the ring as Bryan goes up high and hits his missile dropkick followed by a kip up and multiple kicks to Ambrose. Yes Lock locked in, Reigns breaks it up and then gets flattened by Langston. Rollins leaps in and gets caught by Langston as Goldust clotheslines Reigns out of the ring. Rollins manages to escape and dropkick Langston out of the ring, only to be caught by a Disaster Kick. Cody goes up to the top and dives out onto Rollins and Reigns! Meanwhile, Bryan hits a corner dropkick on Ambrose, but Ambrose ducks the second one. Tag to Orton who hits his hanging DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO, but Langston shoves Orton into the Flying Knee for the three!
The start of the match was a little slow, and there wasn’t enough Langston in there for my liking, but I liked the strategic quick-tags by both groups, and the ending was awesome. 3 stars.
I thought this show was okay enough. The comedy sections were…well, devoid of entertainment, but the tag matches at the start and finish of the show were fun. It wasn’t as good as last week’s very recommendable show, but neither was it bad. As an advert for Hell in a Cell, it feels like there should have been more there. Six out of ten.
Tags: 3MB, aj lee, alberto del rio, Antonio Cesaro, big e langston, Bray Wyatt, Brie Bella, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, dean ambrose, Diego, Drew McIntyre, El Torito, Eric Rowan, Fandango, Fernando, goldust, Great Khali, Heath Slater, Hornswoggle, jack swagger, jbl, jey uso, jimmy uso, Jinder Mahal, john cena, Los Matadores, Luke Harper, Michael Cole, miz, natalya neidhart, Nikki Bella, Paul Heyman, randy orton, Real Americans, Roman Reigns, ryback, seth rollins, Smackdown, Summer Rae, Tamina Snuka, The Shield, the usos, triple h, Vickie Guerrero, WWE, wyatt family, Zeb Coulter